Saturday, October 24, 2020
Or Day One of the 17 Day Firebreak Fortnight!
Although Supermarkets are allowed to stay open, they aren't allowed to sell items that would also be sold in other shops that have been instructed to close during this period. The rationale behind this is to protect smaller traders. Whether you agree with that concept, or indeed think this is an appropriate way to go about it, it isn't difficult to understand the logic. Or so you'd imagine. Cue endless 'Outraged of Orpington' type comments on social media and the like where the discussion has morphed into 'essential' and 'non essential' items. "So I can buy a packet of cigarettes but not a new coat for my child"? Yes you can buy cigarettes because newsagents are also able to remain open so it's not an unfair advantage to the Supermarkets. Clothes shops however have to close.
So I can buy a bottle of gin but not a baby's feeding bottle"? Yes you can buy a bottle of gin because off licences are able to remain open so it's not an unfair advantage to the Supermarkets. Oh and yes, you can buy a baby's feeding bottle in a Supermarket or alternatively in a chemist as they are able to remain open too. "So I can buy some halloween decorations but not new underwear"? Given parents won't be able to take their children out trick or treating, a few decorations indoors may make it slightly less disappointing for the tiddly peeps, and ffs, you can't last a fortnight without buying new undies? Even if it is a 17 day fortnight!
"But what if someone's child needs a new coat"? We've had the best part of a week's warning - didn't they notice their child needed a new coat until today? "What if they didn't get paid until today"? They had no family or friends they could borrow from? OK well now they could order it online. "What if they don't have the internet"? And they don't know anyone, anywhere, at all, that could order it for them? Look I do realise that there will be people who struggle during this and who really couldn't get prepared in advance for whatever reasons, but broadly speaking, they will be the exception rather than the rule. I can only hope that the Councils are onto it and prepared to provide help where it's needed.
But what really irritates me about all this is the 'Livid of Lymington' type comments are mostly being made by people in England so it doesn't frigging affect them anyway. Here in The Wetlands where it does apply, we've mostly made sure we're prepared and are looking out for any neighbours etc that have a problem. And don't get me started on all the "It's the government controlling us. There isn't a pandemic at all" type comments! Or alternatively the 'It's due to 5G/Bill Gates/an inscrutable Chinese plot/The Lizard Overlords/BLM protesters/Students/etc type conspiracy theories. Whatevah!
Mixed messages on a personal level too. Dorothy got in touch with me this morning shortly before 10 a.m, Sally had called round to see her and informed her Elaine was in hospital and did I know? Told Dorothy that as far as I knew, Elaine had gone to the hospital for tests yesterday but I'd chase it up. I planned on phoning Elaine anyway but not until mid morning. She doesn't like anyone disturbing her before ten at the earliest so I usually wait until elevenish if possible. Rang and got her answer phone so I left a message saying I hoped the tests had gone OK and due to Dorothy's information, I'd contact Elaine's neighbour if I didn't hear from her [Elaine] later in the afternoon. Ten minutes or so later she got back to me. No she hadn't been kept in hospital, which of course was a relief.
Seemingly she has IBS. So this evening I've been checking anything she should/shouldn't have in terms of diet for when I do the 'cookfest' for her. She has an ulcer as well but fortunately there aren't too many contraindications as it were between the two suitable diets. And as she doesn't like spicy food, I'm pretty clear what type of dishes to cook for her. Actually managing it in her almost non existent kitchen will be the real challenge.
Although Sally had got it muddled up [or had been given incorrect information from Elaine's neighbour], I am grateful that she and Dorothy are keeping me in the loop as it were. I miss them all very much and as ever, am looking forward to my next visit. Less than a month now all being well. Meanwhile I've messaged Dorothy to update her. Elaine did say she'd call her but I figured I'd send a message too just in case Elaine forgot as she was clearly very tired when we spoke.
So, Day One of the 17 Day Firebreak Fortnight pretty much done and dusted.